1st Edition

The Algerian War Retold
Of Camus’s Revolt and Postwar Reconciliation

ISBN 9780367444693
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
226 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

The Algerian War Retold: Of Camus’s Revolt and Postwar Reconciliation focuses on specific aspects of Albert Camus’s ethical thought through a study of his writings in conjunction with late 20th- and early 21st-century works written by Franco-Maghrebi authors on the topic of the Algerian War (1954-1962). It combines historical inquiry with literary analysis in order to examine the ways in which Camus’s concept of revolt -- in his novels, journalistic writing, and philosophical essays -- reverberates in productions pertaining to that war. Following an examination of Sartre’s and Camus’s debate over revolution and violence, one that in another iteration asks whether FLN-sponsored terrorism was justified, The Algerian War Retold uncovers how today’s writers have adopted paradigms common to both Sartre’s and Camus’s oeuvres when seeking to break the silence and influence France’s national narrative. In the end, it attempts to answer the critical questions raised by literary acts of violence, including whether Camusian ethics ultimately lead to justice for the Other in revolt. These questions are particularly poignant in view of recent presidential declarations in response to years of active pressure applied by associations and other citizens’ groups, prompting the French government to acknowledge the state’s abandonment of the harkis, condemn the repression of peaceful protest, and recognize the French army’s systematic use of torture in Algeria.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: The Self on Trial

Silence and Language

Responsibility and Guilt

Mother, Native Land, and Justice


Chapter Two: The Responsible Journalist

Methods of Critical Journalism

The Responsible Editor

A Chronicle of October 17, 1961: La Seine était rouge: Paris, octobre 1961


Chapter Three: A Brother in Arms

Le policier, le fonctionnaire et le réfractaire

La règle d’action

Arming the Powerless With a Narrative


Chapter Four: The Native Son

From Soil to Ashes

To Die So Young

This is Not a Court of Justice



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Dr. Meaghan Emery is an Associate Professor of French at the University of Vermont.